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Unread 01-03-2017, 08:48 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default July 15th, 2001: Bash at the Beach



July 15th, 2001

From Arnold Hall in Miami, Florida

Attendance: 7,460

Announce Team: "The Professor" Mike Tenay and Bret "The Hitman" Hart





Official Theme Song: "Fell in Love with a Girl" by The White Stripes


Quote:
AJ Styles vs. Lance Storm

There wasn't any hype for this match, but I view both of these guys as key components of the future of WCW and I believed they could have a really good match together, and so they did. It'll be a long process trying to build the likes of AJ up to the point that they can be legitimate draws, but between his exciting aerial moves and Lance's smooth technical wrestling, the in-ring work here was quality.

This match wasn't just about getting the PPV off to a good start; we also advanced AJ's story here. Steve Corino sat in with Mike and I on color for this match, and spent the entire time criticizing AJ's in-ring style as the antithesis of old school, "real" wrestling. That was what he was supposed to do, but I think he went a little too far in that direction to the point that it made AJ and the match itself come across worse to the fans watching at home. Stacy Keibler came out from the back to reprimand Corino for his disparaging comments about not only AJ but his budding association with her, and it distracted AJ just long enough for Storm to catch up to him as he stood on the top rope and give him a superplex for the pin.



Grade: B-
Quote:

We did our second Vampiro vignette. Just like the first one this past Monday, he was dressed in a pristine white suit as he sat in a chair in front of a blank background and softly spoke of the spiritual journey he'd embarked on over the past few months.

"For years I cloaked myself in darkness, believing it would protect me. But now I know that I had it wrong all along. No longer will I lurk in the shadows, alone and afraid, because now I have found...salvation."

Two vignettes, both ending with the world 'salvation.' I think our fans can connect the dots from there and figure out that it has some kind of meaning. Vamp did an awesome job here, delivering his promo with conviction and perfectly capturing the tone I was hoping for with his own improvised words.



Grade: B-
Quote:
Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #4 The Dead Jesters vs. #5 The Loose Killers (The Dead Jesters lead 2-1)
Sean O'Haire (The Dead Jesters) vs. Dustin Rhodes (The Loose Killers)


Mike and I spent a lot of time in this match harping on the fact that even though Dustin's only two years older than O'Haire, he's been wrestling for almost thirteen years while Sean only just celebrated the one year anniversary of his debut. That was the focus of the in-ring storytelling here, with O'Haire's raw athletic gifts being tested by the experience and ring savvy of the grandson of a plumber, who enticed him into making mistakes and capitalized to the fullest. I went back-and-forth on the outcome of this match several times in the days leading up to the event, but ultimately had O'Haire hit the Seanton Bomb to go over and send the Dead Jesters to the semifinals.


Grade: B-
Quote:

The rest of the Dead Jesters came out to celebrate the win with O'Haire, and Bobby Heenan interviewed the team in the ring. All four guys got the chance to speak a few lines. O'Haire said he was going to use the UFS as a means to add some singles gold to go along with his tag team title, Rey viewed it as a chance to potentially shock the world all over again by becoming world heavyweight champion, and Candido (with Sytch standing silently by his side but enhancing the segment all the same) knew it was a perfect platform for he and Tammy to claim the power they desired. As for Jindrak, well...he was there.


Grade: C-
Quote:

Jeff Jarrett was busy getting ready for his own match with Rob Van Dam, but fellow Championship Pedigree members Chuck Palumbo and Jamie Knoble dropped by the locker room of Shane Douglas to wish him luck as he prepared to try and close out their UFS series with a win over Ric Flair.


Grade: C-
Quote:
Sting vs. "The Total Package" Lex Luger

I like Sting, but I don't think it's any secret to Lex that I've never thought much of him inside the ring. He has a great look and he's charismatic, but as a wrestler I think he's average at best. He did nothing to change my mind here. He didn't have an off night by his standards, but his work was still mediocre. He's lucky his buddy Sting is still good enough to carry him to a solid match. It was pretty basic and they focused more on storytelling, with a match built around Luger offering these displays of respect and friendship that Sting wasn't buying. A Scorpion Deathdrop ended the match for Luger.


Grade: B-




Buff was all oiled up and ready to go. He hit the ring to attack Sting. Luger didn't join in and tried to talk Buff out of it, but he made no effort to physically stop him. Maybe we should've had him do that, because Buff's punches and kicks looked like crap.




Ric ran down in his ring gear, ditched his robe in the aisle and came to Sting's rescue. There were chops for Luger and Bagwell alike until they retreated to the back. I asked Sting to try and appear conflicted as he got up, appreciating Ric's help but not fully trusting him, and I thought he pulled it off beautifully. They shared a nod and Sting left, with Flair remaining in the ring for his UFS match.


Grade: B
Quote:
Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #1 Satyr's Hopeful Few vs. #8 Championship Pedigree (Championship Pedigree leads 2-1)
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair (S.H.F.) vs. Shane Douglas (Championship Pedigree)


Was Ric Flair going to wrestle a cleaner style now that he was working as a babyface? Not a chance. While both of these guys are solid technicians and showed it in certain points here, this match was more about seeing who was going to be able to out-cheat the other. The ref had his hands full, with both guys punching, eye gouging, cheap shotting, using the ropes for leverage, etc. Basically anything you can think of, they did. I was afraid it might cross the line into something more comedic than we were intending, but I think Ric and Shane skirted that line pretty well.

The fans embraced Flair as a face, cheering him on despite (or maybe because of?) his blatant cheating, yet booing whenever Shane did much the same. In the end Flair proved he really is the dirtiest player in the game when he rolled Shane up and grabbed a handful of tights for the pin, forcing a tiebreaker tag team match between Flair/Kanyon and Douglas/Jarrett for tomorrow night.



Grade: B-
Quote:

In an interview with Bobby, Chris Candido said that advancing in the UFS earlier in the night was a good step for the power couple, but they weren't putting all their eggs in that basket. He hinted at the idea that they were going to seek allies to bolster their efforts to gather power. Bobby was supposed to unsuccessfully press him for more information, but he did so a little more comedically than I wanted and it hurt the tone of the segment a bit.


Grade: C
Quote:
Last Man Standing:
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Kanyon


These two had a lot to live up to after their fantastic falls count anywhere last match. This match was similar to that one in some ways: telling them to engage in an all out brawl worked so well at Great American Bash that I had them do so again. The key difference obviously was the last man standing stipulation, so rather than going for pinfalls throughout the ringside area, they would hit big moves and build drama around whether or not they'd be able to get back up. This match wasn't quite at the level of last month's epic, but it was still very good and the best match on the show to this point.

There were several good finishing teases, including DDP getting up at about 8 and a half after being struck in the face with a steel chair (though he protected himself well), and Kanyon using the ropes to pull himself up just before the referee could finish the count after a Diamond Cutter. Page set up for a Diamond Cutter on the ring steps, but Kanyon blocked, spun him around and delivered his Flatliner finish on the steps instead. That kept DDP down for the count and gave Kanyon a big win, but I thought this feud was a positive for both men. I've got some long-term plans for Kanyon, and DDP is proving to me that he's still got some gas left in the tank and can be counted on as an upper card guy.



Grade: B
Quote:

Booker cut a promo about his rematch with Scott Steiner tonight. He made note of the fact that a lot of people were calling him stupid for voluntarily putting his title on the line tonight.

"Call me stupid if you want, but ain't nobody gonna call Booker T a coward! I'm a fighting champion, and so long as I got this belt I'm gonna give it everything I got to prove that I deserve to be on top of WCW! Now can you dig THAT?"

I thought Booker did a very good job in his delivery here, establishing himself as a worthy and courageous babyface champion rather than a moron, which he could easily have fallen into after the way we laid this story out.



Grade: A
Quote:
No Disqualification:
Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Jarrett


As RVD was posing and playing to the fans during his ring introduction, Jarrett jumped him from behind with a steel chair. That set the tone for the entire match. Jeff would do everything he could to try and finish Rob off when he had him at a disadvantage, and would flee and play the coward whenever Van Dam made his comebacks. RVD was really in his element here, as the no dq rules meant that he was able to do a lot of the more intricate spots he was known for in ECW.

RVD had things well in hand until Jeff stopped him cold with a groin shot. That led to Jeff grabbing his trusty guitar and taking a swing, but RVD ducked and hit a modified version of his Van Daminator using the guitar instead of a steel chair. From there he hopped up to the top rope, delivered the Five Star Frog Splash and won the match and the feud. I know Jeff wasn't happy about how he looked coming out of this, but I think RVD can be a real player for us and this was all about elevating him.



Grade: B
Quote:

Steiner cut a promo for the main event, and he was his usual unpredictable, almost incomprehensible self.

"I'm the man! I'm the genetic freak! Booker T, they say the truth hurts, but they only say that because they never got in the ring with me so I could show them what REALLY hurts!"

Did that make any sense to anyone watching at home? Probably not, considering I'm running the company and I had no clue what he was trying to say. But the guy is so damn charismatic and entertaining, and the fans are so invested in this feud, that the crowd response to this pre-tape was electric.



Grade: A*
Quote:

Mike Awesome vs. Rey Misterio Jr. {}

David vs. Goliath, Part II. We played off of the ending to the first match early on, with Rey catching some near-falls off of rollups. That angered Awesome, who aggressively threw Rey around with power moves and beat on him with punches. Mike looked a little sloppy with his execution tonight, including very nearly dropping Rey on his head on a gorilla press spot. Luckily Rey came out of the match unscathed, and they put forth a match about on the same level as their first one last month.

The beginning of the end came when Rey dodged a shoulderblock off of the top rope, setting up a realistic-looking ref bump. After putting Rey down with a clothesline, Awesome dragged a table from underneath the ring and set it up inside. He took Misterio up to the top rope and lifted him up for a super Awesome Bomb, but Rey shifted in mid-move to turn it into a hurricanrana off the top, and Awesome crashed through the table! Rey made the cover amidst the debris, and Nick Patrick crawled over to count the pin.



Grade: B
Quote:
Ultimate Fan Series Opening Round: #3 Sin-free Society vs. #6 The Whole F'n Package (Sin-free Society leads 2-1)
CM Punk (Sin-free Society) vs. "Sugar" Shane Helms (The Whole F'n Package)


Punk had a much better opponent to work with at this month's PPV as far as in-ring ability goes, and he took advantage of that chance to show off his skills at full-speed. He's not technically a cruiserweight, but he was able to work that style without much difficulty. These guys had the closest thing to a traditional cruiserweight match on the show, with plenty of fast-paced and exciting offense. It wasn't the non stop high spot affair Helms had with Kidman last month, but they still worked a pretty good tempo.

When Helms (accidentally?) poked Punk in the eye during a strike exchange, Kidman came out from the back to argue with Helms, calling him a liar for pretending that last month's low blow had been accidental. Shane insisted that this was all just one big coincidence, and Punk took advantage of the argument to catch Helms with a Devil Lock DDT to win the match and series for the Sin-free Society. The nature of the finish diminished the win somewhat for Punk as we went out of our way to protect Helms, but I still think it was a good night for the newcomer from Chicago.



Grade: C+
Quote:

Just like when O'Haire won the series for the Dead Jesters earlier, we had the rest of the Society join Punk in the ring for an interview with Heenan. Rick was the only one who didn't get to talk, instead standing around and just basically looking intimidating. Storm and Finlay got some time on the stick and talked about the technical skill of their team, which they said was second to none, but the focus was on the victorious Punk.

"Cruiserweight, heavyweight, it makes no difference! Anyone who gets in my way, gets in OUR way, will find out why straight edge means I'm better than you!"

Punk continues to get better and better at playing up his real-life straight edge lifestyle and using it to get the desired (negative) reaction from the crowd. I really like this team in general, and as a bonus, it led me to discover what appears to be some great team chemistry between Punk and Storm.



Grade: C
Quote:

Ultimate Fan Series: #2 The K-Nections vs. #7 Uncrewed's Crew (The K-Nections lead 2-1)
"Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner (w/Midajah) vs. Booker T {}


Our production team put together a nice pre-match video recapping the Steiner/Booker saga, with emphasis on last month's Great American Bash match and what's happened in the weeks since.


Grade: A


Then it was match time. These two had a great match to close out the Great American Bash, and I was hopeful they'd be able to do the same here. While Scott did mess up several times throughout with some poorly executed moves, I was still quite pleased with the outcome. Part of this was due to some strong work from Booker, especially on the mat. I've never seen him look so sharp in technical wrestling exchanges, and since Scott has his amateur background to rely on, that was a real strong point of this match.

We moved away from the shoulder injury this time, leaving Scott free to focus on his usual array of suplexes and brawling. He worked over Booker's neck quite a bit, and it set up nicely for Booker to make his big comeback. He hit some forearms and elbows, slammed Steiner to the mat and went to the top rope for the Harlem Hangover. The move connected, and Nick Patrick counted once...


twice...




...but Scott got a shoulder up! Booker stared at the ref in shock and frustration for a moment before pulling Steiner up and going for the Rock Bo--err, Book End, but Scott elbowed his way out of that predicament. He did an amateur-style go behind and snapped off a release german suplex, dropping Booker on his neck. Big Poppa Pump gave a little flex, then slapped on the Steiner Recliner.

Thus began a dramatic struggle, with Scotty putting all his strength into pulling and twisting on Booker's neck until he had to quit, and Booker fighting with everything he had to try and make the ropes. After a long struggle, Booker's fingertips were inches from the ropes, but then Steiner repositioned him, dragged him back out towards the center of the ring and reapplied the hold. Booker had used all his remaining strength on that failed escape attempt, but still refused to submit. He eventually became unresponsive, so Nick Patrick did the standard arm check spot. His arm fell once...



twice....






...and a third time! New champion! (Plus a tied UFS series, meaning we'll see Steiner and Awesome against Booker and Sting in a tiebreaker tomorrow.)



Grade: B+



While Steiner celebrated with the title, Arn Anderson led a group of officials out to the ring to check on Booker. The ex-champion was eventually loaded onto a stretcher and taken to the back while Steiner stood on the middle rope and flexed, the belt across his shoulder.


Grade: B+


Show Overall Grade: B+

Last edited by The Final Countdown : 07-21-2017 at 09:48 PM.
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